We are becoming accustomed nowadays to strange, unexpected twists in our destinies.
But likely few of us would expect to see the following take place in the relatively
* The religious right warmly embracing alternative lifestyles, and giving their blessing to marriages between partners of the same sex.
* A world where severe labor shortages
threaten to bring on a thirties-style depression, or worse.
* Western governments in a near panic to legalize both marijuana and prostitution.
* Trade and budget deficits throughout the western nations turning into surpluses.
And yet financial institutions are threatened from an entirely new and unanticipated
quarter, with a scale of failure that makes the Savings & Loan debacle of the eighties look miniscule by comparison.
* The western democracies do an abrupt about-face on recent immigration policies,
literally begging for people to come to their shores.
* Dictatorships and other forms of totalitarian government not only collapse across
the board, but appear destined never to rise to prominence again
due to a new phenomenon on the world stage. Paradoxically, this 'social vaccine'
protecting the world forevermore from non-democratic governments gaining a substantial
foothold again is not
welcomed by the community of nations, but rather greatly feared and despised by them.
* Finally, all of the above comes about within only a decade or two after the appearance
of a single precipitating agent.
What on Earth could have such an effect on so many diverse issues?
The Ultimate Security and Escape
Drugs have become an enormously important part of modern-day life. It could be argued
that of all the different sorts now available to us, none have had a bigger impact
on the world than the so called 'birth control' pill. Indeed, so far ranging an impact has it had on us, that we commonly refer to it as the
pill; despite the fact that there are literally thousands of other chemical aids
in similar physical form, and that this particular drug has been directly applicable
to only one half of our population: women.
Now variations of the pill are appearing; one induces abortions, another works through
the male rather than the female sexual apparatus. But neither of these promise as
dramatic an impact upon the world as the original pill brought with it. The first
pill literally was a breakthrough not only in terms of technology, but in the changes
it wrought in social policy and individual options. Yet even as the world still struggles
to cope with the implications and new choices presented by the wake of the original pill's introduction, another, perhaps still more significant medium of choice, looms on the
We could soon witness a Second Coming,
of sorts. Not of a messiah, but of a second pill.
One which may affect us so profoundly as to make the advent of the first seem but
a herald of its coming.
Where the first pill provided a revolutionary and viable form of birth control,
the second will offer convenient and reliable death
This second pill would have a simple function; it would provide a quick (perhaps even pleasant) death for the taker. The ultimate deliverance from a world of troubles, pain, or
loneliness. A last resort more reliable than anything else man's expertise might
provide, for centuries to come. A final, fail-safe option that could be so complete as
to provide comfort and security even for those who simply kept it in reserve, never
deigning to take it unless circumstances became truly unbearable.
Why would there be a huge market for such an 'easy death' pill, and why could it have
such a great impact on the world?
A possible scenario for the early twenty-first century; the environment within which a widely
available death control pill might first appear:
The raging bull of the twenty-first century
New breakthroughs in hardware, software, and materials are spawning immense new
opportunities and remaking the world economy. Aquaculture joins agriculture as a
major world industry, with both the new and age-old cultivation domains producing
far more than food; alternative fuels, drugs, and materials also pour forth from both. Sea floor
mining towns and resorts abound. Widespread missile technology from the defunct Cold
War is spurring a boom in space exploration and construction, which boosts many Earthside industries as a welcome by-product. Computer systems have finally become good
enough to deliver on their promises of greater productivity from decades past. Telecommunications
networks are accelerating not only the velocity of money supplies but the rate information and new ideas flow through the economy, as well. The coming on-line
of vast new high quality labor resources ( with attendent consumer demand ) within
Eastern Europe, the ex-Soviet Republics, and China also feeds the global bull market.
Entrepreneurism is expanding at a feverish pace, with people fleeing the growing constraints
and invasions of privacy endemic to traditional employment for the higher incomes
and greater freedoms available through their own businesses. Entrepreneurism is also
boosted tremendously by the downwardly spiraling costs of office equipment like computers,
copiers, modems, and fax machines. Innovations in materials and construction techniques
are fueling immense new projects everywhere.
Job creation is booming world-wide. But so too is stress. The stress of intense global economic competition. The stress
of coping with traumatic social and technological change. The stress of switching
career tracks on a regular basis, as the old professions are replaced with the new
at an ever increasing pace. Suicide rates are higher than ever in the most rapidly advancing
of nations. Spotty but hard hitting labor shortages are forcing the world to utilize
more and more of the unemployed of the poorer regions, such as the Third World.
Just as high technology makes citizens on the home front as vulnerable to the ravages
of war as soldiers on the battlefield, so too does it make every citizen vulnerable
to the fierce economic competition raging globally. No one's job or business is safe. Not when someone half a world away can decide at any moment to compete with you
for any wage or profit you enjoy. In this manner will there be considerable job stress,
despite the fact of almost nonexistent unemployment. For workers will know that failure to compete well in their present job guarantees retraining for another, or a demotion,
with an attendant fluctuation in income. There'll also be the strong possibility
of relocation; a traumatic uprooting from home, extended family, and friends. Jobs
will be plentiful, but require more education and skills, and make greater demands on
personal lifestyles, than ever.
Third World fountains of devastation
The immaturity of many Third World governments presents the rest of the world with
an ever mounting risk during the twenty-first century. Many countries are very backward
in their ways; being theocracies, like Iran under the ayatollahs in the late twentieth century; or dictatorships, like Hussein's Iraq of the eighties. A few may still
be clinging to some form of Communism, despite that system's proven bankruptcy. Yet
even the democracies among the Third World nations are akin to 'wild-eyed teenagers'
compared to the world's more mature states; for they do not have fully developed safeguards
on government and industry practices within their borders. This inadequacy of safeguards
makes research and development of new products ( and weapons ) much cheaper and more rapid for multi-national corporations, who subsequently tend to concentrate
such efforts within those countries. These loosely regulated enterprises are ticking
time bombs, awaiting only accident or terrorism to trigger catastrophe. Globe girdling
clouds of toxic gases or horrific disease carrying particles, and insidious free roaming
terrorist software, erupt from such sites periodically over decades, before the
world manages to get such things well in hand. A natural desire for economic prosperity and political power is what drives many Third World countries to unwittingly invite
such danger and ill repute upon themselves. Others crave the potential weapons that
might be derived from such efforts. Ironically, many of these states consequently
suffer more themselves
from these developments, than do any supposed enemies.
Beyond the horrors unleashed by accident and terrorism, are those of outright war,
as ethnic and theological strife is whipped into a near frenzy in some parts of the
world. Religious factions, alarmed by a waning of their fortunes and influence, react
as they have time and time again throughout history; with hysteria that eventually
turns to bloodshed. Ethnic feuds are strengthened as technology transfers power from
central authorities into the hands of individuals and small groups, who are often
ill prepared to use this new power in a responsible manner.
The earlier incidents of Bhopal India, AIDS, Chernobyl, and the Kuwaiti oil fires
have turned out to be only the smallest hints of what is to be seen on a regular
basis throughout the twenty-first century.
Even as the probability of large-scale nuclear conflagration appears to recede from
the world stage, other just as frightening dangers appear. Though the majority of
these afflictions are successfully contained, still the news of them contribute to
anxiety levels world-wide, and so spur greater potential demand for an easy escape.
The impact of technology on population growth
Another factor includes the options presented by genetic breakthroughs. Parents
increasingly are able to choose the sex of their children in the twenty-first century.
Few realize the potential calamity this can bring in the near term. For traditional
cultural bias embedded in many nations tilts the choices more towards one sex than the
other. In many countries the trend easily works out to three male babies for every
female. An entire generation ( or more ) suffers severe imbalances in sexual populations
as a result. Though the imbalance carries in itself many topics for social speculation,
here we will attend to only one: the impact on birth rates. Any generation with a
substantially reduced population of females obviously does not possess the same capacity for producing children as a more sexually balanced group. Therefore, options raised
by genetic technologies may reduce global birth rates.
Beyond the possibly smaller numbers of females in a generation, there is also the
economic factor. Recall that successive generations in most nations will likely enjoy
higher living standards than their predecessors throughout this period. Higher living standards seem to encourage a lower birth rate ( at least in the experience of the
more developed countries ). Therefore, in the worst of all possible cases ( regarding
birthrates ) we have an ever increasing shortage of women, and they enjoy sufficiently improved
living standards so that each tends to bear far fewer children than previous generations.
In such cases drastic measures such as artificial wombs and a much more expanded
government role in child bearing could become an economic necessity.
Perhaps another relevant issue regarding all this will be the increased frustration, competition, and stress which men in regions of few females will undergo, as one consequence of the women shortage. Considering the importance that sex and family hold for many males, chronic depression may ultimately become one effect on many of these locales-- with some portion perhaps seeking a convenient end to their woes.
How do we spell relief? O-B-L-I-V-I-O-N
The rising level of ambient stress in our society, indeed, throughout the world,
is taking a toll on us all. One need not be a part of the general workforce to detect
it; it is everywhere. The pace of change has been accelerating for quite some time,
and will likely not slow in the foreseeable future, even if we make a concerted effort
to affect it so. The culture emerging from all this seems one of increasing alienation
of the individual even as it also empowers each of us with heady new capabilities
and options. Increasing perceptions of loneliness could combine with an ever more bewildering
array of alternatives from which to choose in other areas of life to threaten our very
capacity to respond and adapt. This phenomenon could tend to reinforce the lure of oblivion
for us. The lure that has made intoxicants like liquors and other drugs our cherished
companions over the millennia. This same lure will exist too in the death control pill,
albeit in the ultimate form: it will promise and deliver liberation from all
our troubles, forever.
What price peace of mind? And ultimate security?
The pill may cost quite a bit, in the beginning. But hey, it's kind of like insurance,
you know? A lot of people will want to get their own death control pill just in case.
For instance, if the world ever did go crazy and launch an all out nuclear war,
that pill could come in darn handy in the aftermath. Or, say you were in an accident
and paralyzed from the waist down; or your legs amputated completely. Or you got
Alzheimer's and your mind began to go. And let us not forget AIDs and the other nasty beasties
running around infecting people from all sorts of unexpected quarters. Many might
prefer death to life in such instances. So what price would be too high for escape?
Escape from all our problems, forever and ever?
A lot of people might already have killed themselves if they weren't afraid of the
pain of slashed wrists or blown out brains. Or of making a mistake and living beyond
the act, with a disfigurement or handicap, and the humiliation in facing those who
knew them before the attempt.
If dying was as easy as taking a pill and going into a peaceful sleep, a lot of
people would likely take advantage of it sooner or later.
NOTE: A simple overdose of sleeping pills presents no clear guarantee of quick and easy
death; there are too many nagging questions involved. How many capsules constitute
a fatal overdose? Does your age, weight, or health have any bearing on the dosage and
effectiveness? Can the pills act quickly enough to prevent discovery and rescue? What promise
is there that the process will indeed be painless? Sure, one or two tablets seem
pleasant enough. But would dozens eat painfully through your stomach lining before
they killed you? These are all questions which a thoughtful person might consider important.
Therefore potential suicides would much prefer a drug specifically designed to afford
them a quick and painless death, over any sort of jury-rigged affair.END NOTE.
For some, just the possession of a death control pill would be a comfort, and probably
add to their capacity to absorb punishment and stress in their daily life. For the
pill would represent a guaranteed escape route for them, allowing them some minimal
control over events, no matter what the future might bring their way.
Our general attitude towards drugs
One thing that will be very relevant to our acceptance of the death control pill
will be our attitude towards drugs in general. Though the casual 'there's a pill
for every ill' perspective of the sixties and seventies may have abated somewhat,
and things like nicotine and steroids have made us wary of some substances, still on an individual
basis most of us feel drugs to be more a friend than an enemy. Pain relievers are
often specifically requested before surgery or dental work. Many of us would feel
much put upon if we had to live without our aspirin, cold, and allergy medicines for
any appreciable length of time. There is also the fact that lots of us, despite all
the hoopla of recent years, remain casual users and abusers of both legal and illegal drugs,
like marijuana, alcohol, and tobacco. And we shouldn't overlook that little pill that
effectively unlinked sex and pregnancy for most women. How often today do sexual
partners mention it to one another? To insure that the intentions of both are in
harmony, so far as making babies is concerned? Drugs have restructured our lives to a great
extent. And with the appearance of the death control pill, they could have an equivalent
impact on our ends. Though governments ( and many other organizations ) will
loathe the effect such a pill has on their influence over the masses, the drug could provide
individuals world-wide with an even greater measure of self-determination than birth control
has for women.
Our love of the dramatic act
Some people will cherish the way the pill provides for a dramatic exit without risk
of pain, fright, or failure. Our passion for theatrics will make itself known in
a great many cases of the initial suicide wave. Unrequited love. Rejection. Relationship breakups. Job demotions, firings, lay offs, and resignations. Adverse court decisions. All could end in pill-enabled suicides.
Why will the production and logistics of a death control pill be simple, cheap, and tremendously
The ease of concocting a death control pill
A suitable death control pill should be much easier and simpler to devise than the
birth control pill was. Simply bringing on the death of an organism, after all, is
a much more straightforward process than preventing conception within a woman without
doing harm to either her or her future child bearing potential.
Sedatives are already a well-established category of the drug industry. There are
a multitude of substances, both natural and synthetic, which might be used to slow
the human organism comfortably and rapidly first into a state of unconsciousness,
then death. Depressants are widespread throughout our society. An acceptable death control pill
might be formulated purely on the basis of a fatally powerful sleeping pill, provided
the resulting compound brings about a fast and painless cessation of life.
Somewhere too there exists explicit formulas for suicide pills, as used by agents
of espionage in decades past. A retired CIA or KGB chemist might be one of the very
first pill producers.
Beyond the substances already known and available to the public that could be modified
or concentrated to create the pill, there is also the wealth of knowledge available
regarding poisons and drugs in general; their chemical formulations, ingredients,
sources, and various effects. This smorgasbord of recipes is expanded on a daily basis
as new discoveries are made and documented in the press or latest murder mystery
thrillers. Information on how to produce the pill will be readily available to whomsoever wishes to find it. Local libraries will likely be a convenient source of such information.
This wealth of knowledge will make for a multitude of pill production methods, strengthening
potential manufacturers' positions with flexibility in materials and processes, and
so practically guaranteeing low costs of production and little risk of significant shortages of the materials required for the procedure. If one set of ingredients
is made unavailable, producers could simply select another formula.
Pill production start ups on a shoe string
A few hundreds of dollars worth of chemicals and equipment would support an entrepreneurial
pill plant start up. Maybe less.
Operating cost concerns
The cost of the materials and processing involved in the pill's manufacturing should
be small. Unlike the requirements for crops like cocoa or marijuana, pills could
be easily produced virtually anywhere in the world, regardless of climate, available
acreage, or agricultural fertility. All that would matter would be acquisition of the
basic chemicals, electricity, and a modest set of equipment. Even the labor involved
should not require great expertise, once the process has been properly documented.
Muddled moral concerns over pill production, distribution, and profiteering
The fact that the morality of the pill business might be highly controversial among
the public would help ease concern on the part of the 'kingpins' of the new trade.
Maybe fully a third to a half of the population in many nations might consider it
a beneficial enterprise, in the beginning, before governments bring their own propaganda
apparatus to bear against the "new social scourge".
Potentially astronomical profits
The costs of pill production will likely be so low as to be negligible. Distribution
costs, however, could be kept artificially high by the illegality of the substance,
as legislated by many alarmed governmental bodies.
$100? $1000? $10,000? How much would people be willing to pay for relief from
their problems? For permanent
relief? Would any
price be too high? Even at only $ 50 per pill, if ingredient costs were two cents
each, you'd have a possible gross profit of $ 49.98 per tablet. Or 249, 900 % of
the original two cent investment; almost a quarter million percent profit. In a world
where conventional investments are considered high yield if they provide fifteen percent
return on investment, such windfalls could entice many into the trade.
Though pill production and distribution would enjoy great logistical and pricing
advantages over many previous drugs, and even the benefit of a somewhat ambivalent
public attitude ( notwithstanding that of governments ), the pill trade will also
be able to operate with a much slimmer hierarchy of personnel. Producers may typically be
much closer to the end-users, thereby cutting out entirely many of the middlemen
who have prospered in the more traditional markets by way of smuggling drugs across
borders. Therefore producers would retain a larger share of any gross profits garnered.
Governments can't stop distribution of any commodity which enjoys a strong demand
and comparatively easy supply; they can only slow it. Witness the ongoing distribution
of cocaine or marijuana throughout the world. The pill would likely be so easily
made that hidden production labs could be set up on virtually every street corner, and
essential supplies gathered from a thousand different sources. Helicopters scanning
wooded areas for telltale fields would be an impotent weapon against this drug. And
so would be Customs, Coast Guard, and military interception efforts. For all intents and
purposes, the pill could prove an unstoppable entity once it appears. Its only weakness,
if it has one, will be improvements in the human condition within an affected region. For with the coming of the death control pill, people will have to want
to stick around, to do so. Coercion of all kinds will ultimately become ineffective
in the face of wide availability of the pill to a populace. The pill could perhaps
turn out to be the strongest single source of effective opposition to cruelty, injustice, and a malevolent 'Big Brother' apparatus, for decades to come.
What about the fact that there should be no recurring sales since first-time customers
would soon be dead?
This 'fact' is in error. Actually, some recurrance of sales will
occur, as those who keep the pill only as a contingency option may wish to update
their personal dose regularly, to prevent undesirable or unsuccessful results from
actual usage. The pill ingredients might, after all, degrade over time like those
of many other drugs. And even if deterioration isn't a factor, many people won't wish to
take a chance with this, their last and greatest luxury in life; that of a clean
and convenient exit from this world.
It will take quite some time to saturate the world market with the pill. First,
some 70% of the population will be unable to afford the pill in the beginning ( as
sellers will naturally keep profit margins high for as long as they can ). So sales
to that 70 % will slowly and gradually take place over time. Secondly, not everyone will
immediately buy the pill when it first becomes available to them. Heavy government
propaganda, huge penalties for possession, and strict enforcement of bans by authorities
may discourage many for a time. Thirdly, those places where religion and tradition are
still strong may prove resistant to the pill's lure. But this resistance will usually
weaken as modernization takes hold in such areas.
It is likely too that it will simply take some time for many to make the personal
decision to purchase a pill, even if legal risks and availability issues are ignored.
Some may have to cast off the final blushes of vigorous youth before such an option
becomes attractive. Others may be so absorbed in their lives and careers that only the
arrival of more sedate and boring times, such as retirement, will spur a purchase.
All these different restrictions and lifepaths might tend to cause a steady stream
of sales worldwide of the drug, over a period of decades ( at the very least), unless
a better alternative makes its debut.
How easy will it be to market a death control pill?
Massive free advertising would support early sales of the pill, soon after
it has come to the attention of the media. Only a handful of deaths and related court
cases would be required to thrust it into the spotlight of public attention. Afterwards word of mouth and indirect media references would have to suffice, as many governments
banned reports related to its existence, even in countries normally as tolerant of
free speech as the U.S.
The general effect of the ongoing information explosion.
A chilling certainty about personal fates
Our modern-day saturation in knowledge about all the world includes the trials,
excesses, tortures, and temptations of a great many of our fellow human beings. Such knowledge
forces us to face, among other things, the more unpleasant implications of each passing
birthday, and the increasing pace of deaths and afflictions among our personal peer groups.
This unrelenting 'in-your-face' presentation has scared many about growing older
or becoming critically ill or injured. Scared us to a magnitude unprecedented in
human history for any generation. Three generations, two, and even one generation ago,
the individual was not nearly so thoroughly drenched with certainty as to their own
fate concerning aging and other mortal liabilities. Sure, we have uplifting and inspirational stories about many traumatic instances of same; but the net effect on many of
us remains a growing apprehension and awareness about it all, and a coalescing of
conscious commitment on the part of some to affect a quick and clean ending for themselves,
should certain conditions come to pass.
Then too, there is the factor of rising expectations and dashed hopes. We are continuously
bombarded with titillating promises of breakthroughs which could break the age-old
cycles of death and disease endured by our forebears. Yet the pace of application of these innovations continues to fail miserably at living up to such grandiose visions.
Indeed, it may well require a century or two for science to deliver a large part
of what it has already promised in the way of longevity and quality of life. This
juxtaposition of elements makes for deep disappointment in many. And deep-seated distrust
of those who offer so much yet seem to deliver so little.
Other relevant dashed expectations can be found in economic statistics. Many among the Baby
Boom generation and those following in America are finding it difficult to match
the prosperity of their parents. In fact, many may never achieve such a goal, unless
economic conditions change substantially. The resulting disillusionment could contribute
to pill demand ( Though the early twenty-first century will be a prosperous one overall,
it will primarily raise living standards in the rest of the world to better match
those already present in the West; the standards of the developed countries themselves
will tend to stagnate or rise relatively slowly over the long term, compared to many other
Deathstyles of the rich and famous
Our faith and confidence in the capability of our technology to protect us from
the ravages of time, illness, and injury will be greatly eroded by the obvious deaths
and suffering of others on the evening news each night. We will all be especially
attentive towards life-threatening and fatal events involving celebrities;
not only because of the attraction of their notoriety, but also because we will be aware that many of these people enjoy all the benefits that wealth and
modern medicine can bring to bear against their suffering and death.
They will most certainly enjoy far more protection than most of we common folk.
Therefore, the experiences of these people will define for us the very limits of
what can be expected of our medical resources.
All too often, we will be chagrined to see that even the greatest expenditures will
be inadequate to the task. This will help strengthen demand for the pill across-the-board.
On the other side of the confidence coin, few would doubt the possibility of a death control
pill. For virtually everyone recognizes such a product is feasible. We'd know that
such a drug was no pipe dream. And this awareness
would help fuel pill sales still further.
Agent of change
The sputtering start of the Second Coming
Low quality and tragedy may well mark many initial death control pill offerings. Agonizing
deaths or non-fatal instances involving brain damage or physical crippling may be
the results of some early pills distributed on the black market. Like the first
stages of many enterprises, the first offering of death control pills could be messy and fraught
with risk for the first to believe the promise of an easy death. These initial pill-takers
will essentially perform the role of 'guinea pigs' for the pill formulation process, on a global scale.
The magnitude of suffering wrought by this phenomenon will be directly proportional
to the non-willingness of world governments to legitimatize the new drug with any
form of effectiveness testing and quality ratings. Doubtless too, any less-than-optimum
results among early pill takers will be seized upon by governments and others for
heavy use in later propaganda campaigns, no matter how well subsequent pill offerings
perform their task.
It may become a common practice for people to get and/or keep small, expendable
'pets' for the sole purpose of testing a pill on the animal prior to taking one themselves.
This practice will also require people to buy early pills in pairs, rather than single doses, to enable the testing process. Later, after the pill has proven itself
in thousands of deaths, the practice of testing doses with pets will decline.
Immediate global consequences of the wide availability of a reliable pill
Initially there will be a mounting rate of suicides as the pill becomes available.
These early suicides will probably be concentrated in the developed nations by virtue
of their greater buying power. Thus, the very populations most important to the health
of the global economy will be struck first, and hardest. These people are the most important to the economy because they are the ones in whom the most has been invested,
money, support, and education-wise. These folks are the resource base already in
place for maintenance of economies and expansion of markets.
Some users may choose to enjoy a brief but extravagant shopping spree or vacation
before popping a pill at the end to avoid the financial consequences. It could take
some years before institutions could put up adequate defenses against such morbid
shenanigans. If it were allowed to run too far afield, it might actually create its own
banking and insurance crisis, akin to that of the U.S. Savings and Loan fiasco of the eighties.
However, the magnitude of damage inflicted could far exceed that earlier case.
Final flings would not be limited to aged retirees. Indeed, the majority would likely
involve the young; thirty year olds and less, who wished to live a few days or weeks
in extravagant excess, and then exit the stage via pill.
"Blessed are the meek, for they will inherit the earth."
- Matthew 5:5 of the New King James Version of the Bible [ Thomas Nelson Publishers
The great majority of those who die by the pill will not
be the so-called 'dregs' of society, but rather the very opposite. Thousands of
intelligent and hard working blue collar employees from old-style manufacturing jobs,
shocked by sudden joblessness or 50% pay cuts due to global competition and an accelerating pace of innovation, pleading for opportunities to retrain and rise again to the
plateau from which they fell, will get no such support from business or government,
and turn to the pill for final solace. Young, educated, competent, and ambitious
women and other minority individuals, who are frustrated by a combination of job bias and
media fostered standards of beauty, style, and income that they cannot reach, will
form another large contingent of the newly dead.
We will lose many of our most highly skilled, educated, motivated, and hard working
There is a strong possibility that we could be left with precious few qualified
people to run our institutions. And if we allow temptation to goad us into overworking
or underpaying them, we will lose them too. If we lose too many, we could end up
entrusting our lives and well being to air traffic controllers, airplane pilots, doctors,
nurses, lawyers, teachers, engineers, scientists, architects, construction workers,
and so on and so forth, drawn from the poorest, youngest, least educated and least
experienced classes in the country. For there won't be enough left of any other groups to man all the vacated posts.
We can expect that productivity would tend to plummet, inflation and deflation appear
side-by-side in unpredictable and savage fashion, living standards fall, and innovation
decline, in such an event. And a vicious downward spiral begin from these negatives which could lead to further waves of suicides, which filled more positions with
lower quality workers, and so on and so forth.
It's entirely possible that some countries could end up depending almost completely
on the quality of their previously most disadvantaged classes,
for many essential services and products.
Some might see an ironic justice in this turnabout. As the remaining elite would
find themselves increasingly overworked because of the rarity of expertise in what
was left of the workforce, and the fact that they would be increasingly surrounded
by those they so disdained in previous times. Minorities and women would fill the majority
of newly vacated posts. But not necessarily high quality
minority and women candidates; for these would have largely 'died out' along with
their WASP counterparts in the first waves of the crisis. No, in the new scenario
the lifeblood of many companies and government agencies would ultimately consist
largely ( in America, at least ) of women minorities,
who possessed a high school education, at best. Many would probably speak the traditional
state language brokenly, if at all, adding communication problems to all the others
The past policies of discrimination, at all levels and in all fields, could come
back to haunt what few remained of the original white male, well educated, well heeled
majority in the western countries. With a vengeance. For they would find themselves
'reaping what they sowed' in terms of education and job training for the underclasses.
Train conductors would be pressed into service as administrative assistants. Rent-a-cops
would become CAD operators. Waitresses and busboys would become nurses. And all these events would have to occur with most training taking place on the job.
Does the thought of you or your children undergoing surgery at the hands of such
a 'first timer' make you feel safe and secure?
Though this environment would represent great, unprecedented opportunity for the
heretofore underprivileged, it would also be very stressful for everyone involved.
And dangerous. For many jobs hold great responsibility and risks, and simply cannot
be adequately taught by way of short cuts. Yet by the time all this takes place there may be no other alternative.
The countries hardest hit and why
Among the developed nations use of the pill will be further concentrated in those
countries enduring the greatest magnitude of 'future shock' as described by Alvin Toffler in his book of the same name; those nations where the pace of cultural, technological, and economic change are the most progressive, the fastest and most violent in
nature: the United States, Canada, and Germany being among the prime candidates.
The states of the old Soviet Union and most progressive of the Eastern European states
Why won't Japan be among the hardest hit? Its homogeneous population and culture,
and confidence gained from recent economic successes may shield it somewhat from
many of the pressures faced by others.
Several of the western european countries are actively resisting many techno-economic
inspired cultural changes, despite all the hoopla over 'EC 92' ( This is one reason
for their continuing lackluster performance in many key economic areas today.); so
they too might be spared the greatest initial harm from the pill's appearance. Another
factor which will help shield them, ironically enough, will be the very socialism
among some countries that Americans and others have before disparaged as being a
source of their uncompetitiveness in many markets. National health care and better treatment
of the poor overall may keep pill-related deaths lower in places like Sweden, than
other nations. And make them much stronger competitors on the world stage as the
pill more deeply wounds countries such as the United States and Germany. In this way could
legislators among the great powers find the tables turned, so-to-speak, virtually
overnight, regarding what the wisest social policies for economic development really
Therefore the greatest proportion of early suicides will be largely inflicted upon
the premier cultural and economic 'locomotives' of the world, with only Japan of
this group being spared the worst damage, in the initial stages.
At the other end of the spectrum, the poorest nations will be protected by their
very poverty; their citizens simply won't be able to afford the pill.
However, this Second Coming could be a 'rolling change' sweeping throughout the
world, for decades to come. That is, nations like the U.S., Germany, and Eastern
Europe may suffer the brunt of the first wave of pill-induced suicides, but later
stages will impact hard on many of those initially spared.
For all ultimately follow the lead of the fastest evolving states.
The new institutional drug pushers
A multitude of other drugs will eventually be pushed by organizations ( including
governments ) in order to provide alternatives to potential death control pill users. Pleasure
drugs will abound, and substantial research efforts will be mounted to find or create
drugs which can enhance feelings of well-being without adversely affecting health or work
performance. The very first results of these efforts will likely be related to drugs
we are familiar with today, such as marijuana. The more toxic elements in the drug
( like nicotine family ingredients ) will be bred or processed out of the end user's
dose, while the psychoactive ingredients may be enhanced or altered so as to be more
predictable and desirable in results.
Other measures may include fast acting 'antidotes' to various recreational drugs,
which could serve to prevent unwanted effects from bleeding over into other, inappropriate
parts of user's lives, such as work. Significant alcohol intake the night before
might no longer have a measurable impact on performance the next day, for example.
In this fashion could harmful by-products of drug use by one person on the lives
of others be minimized, while still preserving individual freedoms.
Some governments may realize early on that legalization of less drastic drugs, such
as marijuana, could be the most effective tool at their disposal in the near term
for dealing with the suicide pill. For with a stroke of a pen they could usurp organized
crime profits in the form of taxes, to apply to expansion of social services. They would
also be providing a new legitimatized recreational alternative for people, thus perhaps
postponing their resort to the death pill for a while, at least. Too, the savings
gleaned from abandonment of marijuana search and seizure practices could itself add
to the monies available for dealing with more serious crime problems.
We shouldn't neglect the fact that in the case of marijuana legislation new economic
opportunities would open up for rural families, and our real trade deficit with the
rest of the world would be reduced.
Prostitution might also be legitimatized, for similar reasons.
The religious right may offer surprisingly little resistance to such legislative
changes ( and even more radical ones ) in the face of a mounting death toll that
includes many of their own members. Too, they will be influenced by the appearance
of new forms of entertainment ( spawned by technological innovation ), which will seem so bizarre
and blasphemous to them that old fashioned vices like pot and prostitution will seem
tame and virtuous by comparison.
Another source of pressure for the demilitarization of the world
The terrible toll of death which will be ultimately wrought by a combination of the
pill, technological accidents, and large-scale acts of terrorism upon the world may
make the previous 'world wars' look small by comparison. Since what remains of the
world population will have easy access to their own departure from the scene ( via the
pill ), governments could find themselves forced to upgrade social services and economic
well-being in order to persuade them to stay. This means money. And where could the
money come from? Upping taxes substantially could spur another wave of pill-induced
deaths. So money would have to come from areas previously budgeted in other ways.
But not from existing social programs. For reductions there could be just as deleterious
on death rates as tax hikes. Reductions in research would likewise be unacceptable.
Because increasing both the quality and longevity of life will require much study
and experimentation. But what remaining large portion of government spending will
this leave to tap? Defense. Large sums will be pulled from military budgets, and applied to
areas like education, health care, and civil economic investment. Conventional military
forces, or weapons of mass destruction, provide no protection whatsoever from terrorism, industrial accident, or disease, the primary scourges of the twenty-first century. And actually cause
declines in living standards and economic competitiveness for those nations which cling
to their military might. Such declines in living standards themselves
breed more unrest and violence internally, as time goes by. Many recent books and articles
list reasons why interest and investment in military force should decline
in the coming years. The death control pill could be yet another nail in the military
A revolution in totalitarian societies
Since the majority of non-democratic societies are in the Third World, and desperately
poor, their populations will not enjoy the relief of the death control pill for possibly
a long time. For they simply will not have sufficient funds to entice smugglers to bring them in or producers to set up shop within their borders. But eventually
the pill will make itself felt even in these places. And its impact could be considerable.
Dictators or otherwise oppressive governments could find themselves with hollowed
out economies and bankrupt societies, virtually overnight. For death rates under
such regimes could sky rocket as the pill comes on the scene. The people in countries
such as China could be freed at last from their evil or ignorant leaders, as such governments
would surely be toppled or resign in the face of such developments. And if new dictators
attempted to replace them, the pill might defeat them too. For leaders must have followers, by definition; and the pill will ultimately allow any
leader to be stripped of his strength and influence by the people. No matter how
many missiles, tanks, bombs, or guns that he possesses. Even if the people themselves
are trapped within the boundaries of their own country, as so many were behind the
Iron Curtain for so long. Such traditional constraints will simply become irrelevant,
if conditions deteriorate sufficiently within a state.
And, of course, with few dictatorships/ authoritarian states left in the world,
the chances for large scale conflict will be greatly diminished. Lessening still
further the need of many countries for substantial defensive forces of their own.
And if standing armies become much smaller, the vulnerability of countries to internal coups
will also be reduced, and stability in those states enhanced, thus opening the way
for low risk economic development by foreign investors.
Opening the floodgates of wealth and opportunity
The loss of a significant portion of the world population could force the powers
that be to open the floodgates of innovation and economic opportunity to an unprecedented
Business, financial, and educational bias in areas of race, sex, and religion would
finally be stamped out entirely by tough new laws and the cold reality of shrinking
populations. Every bit of realized human potential, regardless of its source, would
be desperately needed by society. Prejudice would simply become too expensive
in the new order.
New laws could empower individuals while weakening multi-national corporations, in business matters. Corporations already possess many methods by which to profit that individuals cannot match: enormous labor forces, widespread distribution chains, powerful marketing and advertising systems, deep pockets by which to manipulate changes in the law towards their own benefit, and more. Indeed, it increasingly appears that large corporations may possess too much power for the world's own good, as of the mid-nineties.
Why not tweak the balance more in favor of individuals? How? Ban corporations from owning patents altogether, allowing only those individuals directly responsible for such ideas to own them (Companies could still license the patent from the owner(s)). Or at least reduce the lifespan of a corporate owned patent to something much less that for a patent in the possession of an individual. Say an individual's patent might last for 15 years, while a corporation's only for five or six.
Sure, such changes, properly done, would cost large corporations $millions, $billions, even $trillions in some cases. But few companies would actually go bankrupt. And all that wealth would not disappear into thin air-- no, it would simply flow elsewhere into the economy. Namely, to consumers in the form of lower cost products and services, and to the real inventors of new technologies themselves, rather than a few high profile CEOs in skyscrapers who likely had little to do with the ideas in the first place. And much of the money would spawn new business start ups as well, creating more competition and innovation in the marketplace, and therefore higher living standards for all.
Another way to open the floodgates might be true election campaign finance reform-- at least in increasingly corrupt systems like that of the USA. If large corporations and wealthy individuals could no longer outright buy the politicians writing the laws, there'd be a far better chance that government would work more often for everyone, rather than just the privileged few. Such a revamped system would likely make for dramatic changes in government budget priorities within a relatively short time-- even without the pressures of a death control pill in the background. Excessive military spending would be slashed, wasteful subsidies benefiting only a few companies or wealthy individuals banned, and many taxes reduced or dropped altogether. The income tax system, freed of hundreds of thousands of legal loopholes for the elite (and the handful of subsidies included for the poor as well, as they'd get the money more directly in other ways now), could at last be simplified greatly, thereby putting even more money into the hands of citizens by making tax preparation services unnecessary too.
Corporations forced to divest themselves of their servile politicans by campaign finance reform, and suffering a loss of patent power to many of their own employees as well as many outsiders, would be forced once again to concentrate on the contest with competitors and better serving their customers as ways to get ahead. Entire departments of lawyers and lobbyists would likely be laid off at many firms, as they no longer were of much value to the companies. Law school enrollments would decline as related opportunities disappeared. And the art of business would be revitalized, as the distractions and subsidies of lobbying/supporting lawmakers, attempting to patent everything imaginable, and stifle competition with endless patent-derived lawsuits, all ended.
No longer could the companies so easily control, delay, and otherwise manipulate the pace of innovation in their respective fields. So the pace of innovation across the board would accelerate.
And those innovations which boosted productivity
and convenience would be more highly prized than ever by a world with a much reduced
population and an enormous need to keep the remaining survivors happy and industrious
at the same time.
Too, all the above would serve to help keep the dreams
of individuals alive, as it could effectively act as another sort of 'lottery',
only better. For this sort of contest could be won by hard work, skill, creativity,
teamwork, and research, where other forms depend solely on intangibles like luck,
which are beyond anyone's ability to consciously affect beyond purely statistical means. An
overhauled patent process plus the long term consequences of campaign finance reform would be a lottery in which one could 'make their own luck',
to a degree. And so such reforms would be a welcome boost for many in their own
perceived 'pursuit of happiness'. Such actions on the part of governments could have
a great and positive impact on the psychology of their societies, and perhaps pull a
few million souls back from the edge of the precipice with an old fashioned tool
we used to call hope.
Corporations never truly invented anything. People were the inventors. Corporations merely claimed the profits. But post-reform, with individuals able to more easily obtain patents and truly benefit from their own ideas rather than being forced to give up them up to soulless corporate entities, an explosion of new ideas could
be expected to burst forth from the previously locked out lower classes of nations.
While a great many would naturally fail the tests of practicality or of meeting a
real need, the sheer greater numbers invoked would likely guarantee a measurable increase
in real innovation in the world, over what existed before. The new redistribution
of wealth that resulted from the process would also have a great positive impact
on society and the economy, that would serve to make the promise implied above more real and
tangible to the common man. It wouldn't be long before almost everyone personally
knew of someone who was prospering as a result of this new avenue of opportunity.
By way of the events described above and others, the presence of the death control pill could possibly force the rich to finally
give up their most cherished institution; the unwritten law that appears to demand
the difference between rich and poor always be obvious.
Enhancement of care and support for those who want to live
As individual conscience becomes ever more important to the politics and economics
of the world, increasing care will be bestowed upon those who are fighting to live,
as opposed to those who wish to die.
Medical care will likely become free, or near-free, for everyone who desires it
in the developed nations.
In the future, each individual life will be far more precious than today, as there
may be far fewer of them, they will be a more fleeting or 'volatile' resource ( due
to the pill ), and newly discovered economic opportunities will be begging for a
labor force to exploit them.
Expansion in state responsibility for the rearing of the young
Besides the obvious revamping of education as one facet of enhanced social services,
there will also be an outright revolution in how the young are processed by the system.
Day care might at last become institutionalized, with many parents not seeing their
children much at all except on three day weekends ( And nearly every weekend might
be a three day weekend in the new economies; except for those incorporating holidays,
which will span four
days. ). Governments and corporations could assume proportions of the burdens of
care and education of children to an extent undreamt of in earlier times. Why? To
make life easier for working parents. To free them of many familial responsibilities
and worries, so they can better concentrate on their work and leisure. For life must not
only be easier, but better, else many will simply 'bail out' by way of the pill,
leaving governments holding the bag for all the responsibilities they leave behind, and
the unrealized socio-economic contributions they take with them.
The dilemma of pill illegality
In regard to educating the public and pursuing other tactics to prevent accidental
misuse of the pill
Those governments which make the mistake of banning entirely all references to the
pill's existence within their borders will find they have tied their own hands concerning
some important issues.
For example, there could be cases of accidental death, by friends or relatives of
pill possessors taking a dosage purely by mistake. Cases which might be reduced with
proper public education and awareness, and packaging standards ( such as child-resistant containers ) for the drug. Yet a government which refuses to acknowledge the existence
of the pill will be unable to set such standards or supply such knowledge to its
In regard to enhancement of care for those who want to live
Organ donors are becoming increasingly important to modern medicine. Yet the organs
of deceased stemming from pill-induced deaths may not be suitable for transplantation.
This condition could reach unacceptable proportions quickly if the majority of deaths suddenly come from the pill rather than other causes. If an unregulated black market
is the main source of death pills, there might be a multitude of different concoctions,
making reliable and safe organ use from the new wealth of bodies near impossible. But if a standardized, well known formula is used within the killing tablets, which
can be reliably washed out or otherwise compensated for in subsequent proceedings,
or is designed from the start to do minimal damage to the vital organs of the body,
such a waste of organs might be avoided. Thus, legislators will face some pressure to
bestow at least limited legality and approval on the pill. ( For as more people voluntarily
die, those that remain by choice will be ever more important and irreplaceable to us. We will greatly desire replacement organs with which to keep them alive. )
New respect for and utilization of the elderly
The elderly could suddenly become a prized resource in economies faced with severe
shortages of experienced and educated younger personnel. Ironically, the greater
proportion of first wave pill deaths will probably occur among the young, as many
face the traumatic disillusionment that comes of maturation in the modern day world. The older
generations will be already past such trials, and so perhaps less susceptible to
the siren call of an easy death from such sources.
Long term implications of the pill's existence
The implications of the death control pill could be staggering for the world economy
and society. Especially if it became available some time after a net decrease in
birth rates had already taken hold world-wide, AIDs and other epidemics had swept
the globe, and a great economic boom was stretching the current labor pool to its limits.
The world would be ill prepared to lose a sizable fraction of its population under
a - j r m o o n e y h a m . c o m - o r i g i n a l
The consequences could include deep economic depression. Which itself could exacerbate
the problem still further, and bring about a vicious downward spiral from which the
world might never recover, if governments erred in how they responded to the crisis.
Governments and corporations couldn't keep the pills out of people's hands. All
they could do would be to try to persuade them not to make use of them, by continually
increasing the quality of life, for everyone. Propaganda alone would be inadequate.
For if people didn't like the game, for the first time in history they could-- easily and painlessly-- refuse to play.
The rise of 'die-ins'
A new variation on old forms of protest could arise with the advent of the death control pill. Where earlier we have seen and heard of 'sit-ins' and 'teach-ins', next we
could see 'die-ins'. Especially among fanatics. Large masses of people may congregate
at a place of contention and simultaneously all take a pill. The result could be a Red
Square or Tiananmen Square filled to the brim with corpses, on world news broadcasts.
Orchestrated public death on such large scales may not occur frequently, but the
few times they did would shake many people and institutions to their very roots. The more
usual form of such protests would involve much smaller groups, and lone individuals,
much like the present day events of people dousing themselves with gasoline and setting it afire. However, as the death control pill will be a much easier, less frightening,
and less painful method of self-sacrifice than older ones, we can expect such demonstrations
of commitment and frustration to attract substantially larger numbers of participants than ever before.
Any nation's citizenry that is well equipped with death control pills may find itself
frighteningly vulnerable to scares of any and all sorts. For when and if the populace
is sufficiently terrified or shocked, the consequences could include a 'panic plague'.
A panic plague would simply be a case of pill use on a wide scale in response to
particularly scary newscasts or similar circumstances. A more modern rendition of
Orson Welles' famous hysteria producing "War of the Worlds" radio broadcast might
be consummated in the twenty-first century with the deaths of hundreds of thousands, if a death
control pill were widely available.
Such possibilities may exert their own pressures on the freedom of the media in
what they present their audience, and how.
Quite a few people may opt to base their retirement plans entirely on the suicide
pill. Such a strategy would eliminate any need to save for retirement, thus freeing
up funds to be used earlier in life for whatever purpose was desired. In other words,
if the pill was your retirement plan, you could live relatively 'high on the hog' as
long as it suited your purpose, then conveniently exit from the financial mess that
This strategy might allow for exploitation of certain financial instruments, making
it advisable for some institutions to address such contingencies in their long term
A lot of people would end up using the death pill for retirement by default,
as they simply wouldn't have made suitable arrangements to support themselves during
their elder years. In those cases the pill could be a great convenience and relief,
preventing many from suffering the humiliation and pain of destitution.
Mercy kill-pills for war
Of course, another possible use of the death control pill would be in war. Tablets which
degraded from killing potency to harmlessness within weeks of an air drop could be
useful in war without presenting long term danger for non-combatants later. An example
of opportunity would be during instances like the horrendous bombing that the allies
did over parts of Kuwait and Iraq in the first Persian Gulf war. Air drops of death
pills with appropriate instructions might have been welcomed by the poor recruits
pressed into service by Saddam, trapped in their ditches by encircling mines and squads
dedicated to seeking out and shooting deserters. The pills would also have been merciful
releases for those whose bodies were shattered by the bombs and had little hope of survival or decent care within the Iraqi medical system. Enemy soldiers too are
human, and should be provided a humane way to escape the worst cases of pain and
horror that war can inflict on them. In the future the supply of such 'mercy kill-pills'
to one's enemy ( as well as one's own troops, when appropriate ) might become part of
a new Geneva Convention type agreement. Though no wars could ever be regarded as
'good', they might be made 'better' if participants had access to mercifully fast
and effective escapes from the more terrible circumstances of mutilation and agony that might
be sustained. If death control pills had no other justification for existence, this alone
might be sufficient.
The pill in last resort emergency relief efforts
Another dimension of the suicide pill may be that of humanitarian organizations
actually air dropping the pill into devastated areas, to provide merciful deaths
for those who might want them. Candidate regions would include those where disease
or other afflictions are extreme, and there appears no other practical way to aid the population.
Regions saturated with deadly radioactive fallout might be one example. Here a kill-pill
might be most merciful compared to the hours, days, or weeks of horror people might otherwise suffer through ( The future will burden us with many heart-breaking decisions
of this sort, unfortunately. ). Such measures, of course, will not be possible until
after pill formulas, production techniques, and legislation allows for such distribution. As many governments will be violently opposed to the pill, perhaps for decades,
it could take a while for such acts of benevolence to become feasible.
The greater significance large-scale loss of life may pose for a modern global economy,
as opposed to that of generations past
Enormous population losses sustained in the past did not affect the world so drastically
as they could today, largely because of the lack of global integration of economies,
or because of other powerful events of the time overshadowing whatever effect they did have. Hitler's extermination of millions of Jews in World War II went largely
unnoticed until the death camps themselves were discovered. The massive dislocation
of the war itself, and extreme measures taken by world governments in response made
the loss not immediately noticeable in the context of that world-spanning conflict. But
the global economy of today will quickly show us that the times are very different
indeed. As the deaths due to the suicide pill mount into the millions, and are concentrated in the most highly developed of nations, the entire world economy could find
itself plunged into depression, or worse.
The net effect on the world population of genetic gender choices for offspring,
the various calamities that erupt in the next century in the Third World, and a rising
tide of opportunity which soaks up workers like a sponge while simultaneously reducing
birthrates, could combine with the appearance of a death control pill to form severe
labor shortages in the twenty-first century.
The results? Governments and businesses the world over could be forced to respond
more sympathetically to social needs. If stress levels are not reduced, legal logjams
cleared away, work made more humane and satisfying, and
the quality of life in general improved, people will 'vote with their pill', rather than
by ballot or feet, and those who remain will suffer the consequences.
The appearance of the death control pill, in conjunction with other challenges we
may encounter to our survival, might well tip the balance towards a dark and painful
time for us beyond the next century. If the global population fell below a certain
level, losing too many of its best and brightest, just as conventional fossil fuels were
running out and innovative alternatives required, we might collapse into a much poorer
and fragile state of civilization than we enjoy today. It could be similar to the
Great Depression that occurred early in the twentieth century. Or worse. On the other
hand, if the appearance of the pill and other problems do not damage us so much as
scare us, then they might instead help us clean up our act in regards to insanely
high military expenditures, inefficient government, and inadequate economic opportunity and
social services. And pave the way to a much brighter future for us all. Free ( or
nearly so ) education, health care, basic housing, and child day-care could become
available to virtually everyone. That long time nemesis of conservative politicians, the
'cradle-to-grave' welfare system, could become an essential staple of the new global
economics. This new reality could force nations across-the-board to give up their
devotion to lavish military spending, and divert the funds instead to improving living standards
for their people. The only alternative would be the loss of their native populations.
Without people, there can be no governments, no nations, no civilization. Even the most primitive and narrow-minded of regimes will be able to grasp this fact readily
when their populations shrink before their eyes.
Another consequence of the suicide pill may well be a 'pruning' of the human genetic
tree. Because those groups of people afflicted with unbearable physical, mental,
or social torment may opt out of this existence, taking their genes with them and
out of the global pool. If there's a bright side to this, it's that it will make future
generations ( if there are any ) more resistant to the pill's lure.
It is in this way that the dream of a madman from World War II might be partially
realized. For only the happiest and most fiercely determined of people are likely
to survive this challenge, in the long run. Those blessed with natural beauty, brains,
and health may find it the easiest. The advantage of wealth would make it easier still.
Those fortunate enough to have developed strong relationships with friends and family
will also be resistant to the temptation of easy death. So too will be those with
jobs and co-workers they enjoy. Dreamers, like artists, writers, innovators, and entrepreneurs,
with a burning desire for achievement, may escape the pill's grasp as well.
But at this point we reach the very edge of the probable survivors. Dreamers, by
their very nature, may undergo great mood swings. With one day spent in ecstasy,
and the next in the blackest of depressions. In their darkest days they will be highly
vulnerable to the seduction of an easy end.
Out beyond the dreamers, will be those of much higher susceptibility to the pill's
charms; those who Thoreau spoke of living "lives of quiet desperation". And therein
lies the greatest long term danger to the world.
For all those with no hope, who dare not dream of a better life, may well succumb
to Death's call.
The ugly, the weak, the poor, the disabled, the uneducated, the socially abandoned,
may all view the pill as their best alternative. And enthusiastically exit this world
they never asked to enter.
And what portion of the world population do these people make up? Half? Maybe more?
Some would argue that this group includes at least three-fourths
of the people on the planet. Could humanity survive with such a horrendous loss
in its numbers, at this late date?
Do not forget that many within these groups are the ones who do by far the greatest
amount of work and produce the bulk of the wealth, though they may share in little
of it. We would be hard pressed to live without the clothes they sewed, the ore they
mined, the products they assembled, the food they picked, and the markets they represent.
As well as the ideas they have. Not a few of our greatest minds arose against all odds from backgrounds
of poverty and deprivation.
Even if we ignored the tremendous tragedy of the deaths of so many people, the most
callous of us would soon be mourning their absence for purely selfish reasons. For
their deaths would make the lives of those surviving them exceedingly difficult.
Many of us would not realize the enormous contribution these folk make to our own
cozy middle-class lives, until they were gone.
At the other end of the spectrum, even the most fortunate of us have our 'bad days';
times that could lure us too into the arms of Death, if an easy exit were available.
So, in fact, virtually the entire population of the world would be at risk from
the pill, at one time or another, if not all at once.
This may well be how many sentient races throughout the cosmos meet their end. Not
with the 'bang' of a cataclysmic war, but the 'whimper' of a species-wide suicide
which liberates them from their mortal travails.
We have searched in vain for signs of civilizations beyond our planet, for years
now. Perhaps the silent skies are testimony of many races fading away simply because
their populations dropped too low to sustain their technology and continued development.
Life can be exceedingly difficult at times. Even for the otherwise much advantaged.
Perhaps many species would eagerly abandon the treadmill if they possessed a convenient
means to do so.
The death control pill could let us discover the truth of this for ourselves.
"There aren't that many drugs that a doctor can give you for a reliable, peaceful death,"
"Nitschke co-authored "The Peaceful Pill Handbook," the Australian version of the 1991 American Hemlock Society guide, "Final Exit," which lays out precisely how to end your life. The book is banned in Australia, where assisted suicide is now illegal."
"The Flounders bought several 100 milliliter bottles of the sterile, liquid pentobarbital for under $50 each."
-- Tourists Trek to Mexico for 'Death in a Bottle' Veterinary Drug Nembutal Said to Give Gentle Death to Terminally Ill By SUSAN DONALDSON JAMES
July 31, 2008
Doctor Philip Nitschke to launch 'undetectable' death machine By Kim Wheatley
The Advertiser December 18, 2008
"It's the latest suicide kit.
Technically, it's a "NuTech death" kit. Some call it "helium-in-a-bag."
The kit can render a person unconscious in 10 seconds.
Dead in a few minutes.
"You don't have to go to your doctor for an assisted suicide. You can go to Toys R Us," said Ogden, 46.
He bought the pink helium tank from a toy store, plus the customized plastic bag off a NuTech website, for a total of $60."
-- Hard-headed researcher of 300 suicides maintains he's pro-life Nov 01 2008, by Douglas Todd
Dignitas: Swiss suicide helpers
Swiss charity Dignitas has gained a worldwide reputation for helping people wth chronic diseases to end their lives 24 January 2006
This Pill Will Change Your Life
In the not-so-distant future, these six drugs--already in the works--will change how we live, and even how we die
Is there a worst way to die? by Josh Clark 8-1-08
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